Homeward Bound: What Does a Global Legal Education Offer the Indian Returnees?

By Swethaa Ballakrishnen
April 30, 2012

This Article studies the effects of an international credential for migrants who return to their home country—in this case, students who return to India with a U.S. LL.M degree. Borrowing a framework from social psychology and organizational theory, it argues that international students with American law degrees who return to their countries of origin do not always benefit from the credential. Instead, trends from qualitative interview data suggest that repatriating an international credential—however prestigious—is a fluid process that requires emphasizing or obscuring the credential depending on the interactional context. As a result, this Article presents a contrast to the preceding article by Carole Silver, which traces the experience of similar LL.M. graduates who stay in the United States to pursue a legal career. Together, these findings on the different barriers that shape entry and access into legal markets have important implications for the way we understand international credentialism and the global legal profession.